UCL School of Pharmacy


Clinically Enhanced Pharmacist Independent Prescribing

The UCL CEPIP course is an integrated clinically enhanced pharmacist independent prescribing course which has been developed by pharmacists for pharmacists.

Successful completion of this course leads to the professional award of Practice Certificate in Independent Prescribing, enabling pharmacists to apply for annotation of their name on the register as an Independent Prescriber. This course is fully accredited by the GPhC.

Pharmacist and patient

This Clinically Enhanced Pharmacist Independent Prescribing (CEPIP) Course can be studied as a stand-alone course leading to the academic award of PG Certificate in General Pharmacy Practice (Prescribing). It can also be studied as an optional module for the Foundation Stage 2 of the UCL PG Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice leading to the academic award of PG Diploma in General Pharmacy Practice (Prescribing).

About the CEPIP course

UCL School of Pharmacy has a long established tradition of supporting and facilitating the training and development of practicing pharmacists. Independent prescribing is becoming an integrated feature of health service delivery in both primary and secondary care, allowing pharmacists and other health care professionals able to qualify as non-medical prescribers to benefit both patient care and service delivery.

We have developed this prescribing course through consultation with key stakeholders, including service providers, clinical practitioners and pharmacist independent prescribers, to meet the needs of pharmacists wishing to train as non-medical prescribers in primary or secondary care. The course is specifically designed to meet the needs of pharmacist prescribers working in medicines optimisation, GP practice, Urgent and Emergency Care and provision of NHS 111 services and care homes.

The UCL CEPIP course has been developed from the outset as an integrated clinically enhanced pharmacist independent prescribing course. ‘Clinically enhanced’ refers to the additional skills that you will acquire around history taking and physical examination as part of the UCL independent prescribing course. This element has been included to enable you to clinically assess patients using focused medical history taking and physical examination skills whilst having an awareness of additional tests and referral pathways to aid in diagnosis. The course will also enable you to safety-net patients and manage risk.

The overall aim of the CEPIP course is to enable pharmacists to develop the knowledge, skills and attributes to undertake safe, appropriate and cost-effective independent prescribing in partnership with patients, carers and members of the multi-professional team. Pharmacists will develop a critical understanding of: systematic approaches to clinical assessment, diagnosis, and making prescribing decisions within their scope of practice; the use of evidence-based information to guide prescribing decisions within a clinical governance framework; and, the legal, ethical and professional issues related to prescribing practice. Within the course they will gain practical experience in diagnostics and both mental and physical health assessment.

The course design and assessment strategy are closely aligned to ensure that pharmacists fulfil GPhC requirements to qualify as an Independent Prescriber, attain academic and professional skills to provide excellent clinical care, and continue to develop in their future career.

Ahead of the application deadline to join our next cohort in October 2019, the Programme Team will be running a webinar to offer the opportunity to find out more information about the course and have any questions answered before submitting an application.

The webinar will run from 19:00 - 20:00 on Wednesday 26th June. Registration is via Eventbrite.

Link to Webinar held on 7th Nov 2018 (Youtube)

Key Information

Programme Entry points (2019/20)
October 2019
April 2020

Mode and duration
Part time, normally studied over six months

Tuition Fee (2019/20 academic year)

Application dates
For October 2019:
Applications open 10th June 2019 and close on 22nd July 2019 at midday.

For April 2020:
Applications open on 16th December 2019 and close on 3rd February 2020 at midday.

Entry Requirements

The entry requirements for the course are stipulated by the GPhC.  Pharmacists wishing to apply for this course must fulfil the following requirements:

1.  be a pharmacist registered with the GPhC or the Pharmaceutical Society of Northern Ireland (PSNI)
2.  have at least two years appropriate patient-orientated experience in a UK hospital, community or primary care setting following their pre-registration year
3.  have identified an area of clinical practice in which to develop their prescribing skills and have up-to-date clinical, pharmacological and pharmaceutical knowledge relevant to the intended area of prescribing practice
4.  demonstrate how they reflect on their own performance and take responsibility for their own CPD.
5.  able to provide written endorsement from an appropriate medical practitioner (the 'designated medical practitioner' - DMP) that s/he will supervise the 'learning in practice' element of the Course, in the clinical area in which the pharmacist intends to prescribe independently immediately on qualification.

English Language Requirements

Applicants must be registered pharmacists with the GPhC or PSNI and so must be able to meet the professional standards of the relevant professional body relating to communication.

International Students
Applicants must be registered pharmacists with the GPhC or PSNI and have patient orientated experience in the UK. The Learning in Practice element of the course must be undertaken in the UK under the supervision of a Designated Medical Practitioner who meets the Department of Health Criteria for the supervision of Learning in Practice time for Independent Prescribing Courses.


The programme draws on a range of assessment methods which address knowledge, competence and performance, using the following approaches:

  • Case studies
  • Critical Reflection
  • Audit
  • Objective Structured Clinical Examination (OSCE)
  • Portfolio including practice based assessments

Pharmacists must pass each element of assessment in order to pass the course.

Study Dates

For the course commencing in October 2019
Wednesday 2nd October 2019
Wednesday 16th October 2019
Wednesday 23rd October 2019
Wednesday 6th November 2019
Wednesday 27th November 2019
Wednesday 4th December 2019
Wednesday 8th January 2020
Wednesday 29rd January 2020
Wednesday 26th February 2020 (OSCE Assessment)

For the course commencing in April 2020
Wednesday 1st April 2020
Wednesday 22nd April 2020
Wednesday 29th April 2020
Wednesday 13th May 2020
Wednesday 20th May 2020
Wednesday 10th June 2020
Wednesday 1st July 2020
Wednesday 8th July 2020
Wednesday 2nd September 2020 or Wednesday 9th September 2020 (OSCE Assessment)


Teaching and Learning

The course comprises a mix of face-to-face study days, on-line learning, and a minimum of 90 hours of learning in practice time, together with private study and completion of the assessments. 

The online learning is provided via UCL’s Virtual Learning Environment and provides a mix of learning resources and activities to consolidate your learning and help you to put your learning into practice.

You will be required to attend the University for nine full days of face-to-face learning. This includes one day for OSCE assessment. Please note that attendance at all NINE study days is compulsory in order to fulfil the GPhC requirements for the course.

The minimum of 90 hours of learning in practice time must take place under the supervision of your Designated Medical Practitioner (DMP). Please see the Designated Medical Practitioner Role FAQs for more information on the role of the DMP.

How to Apply

Practitioners apply by completing an online application form AND an application pack. The online application form will be made available only during the application period. The application pack is to be completed and e-mailed to sop.professionalcourses@ucl.ac.uk once the on-line application form has been completed.

The application pack requires references and signed forms from both your employing/supporting organisation and your DMP. Please allow plenty of time to complete this pack prior to the application deadline. Applications received after the deadline will not be considered. Sucessful applicants will also be required to formally enroll in person at UCL prior to commencing the course.

Both parts must be completed in full and submitted by the relevant application deadline. Applications with missing/incomplete information or that do not meet the entry requirements will not be considered.

Applicants should read the Application Guidance documents carefully before attempting to complete either the application form or pack.

Applicants will be notified by early August (October intake) or early February (April intake) whether or not their application has been successful. Please do not enquire about the outcome in the meantime.

Frequently Asked Questions

The most commonly asked questions can be found here. Please review the documents below.